Planning routes, towing in the wind.. questions!!

Aug 23, 2017
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Hi all. Fairly new to towing myself having not long passed the B+E test. Booked to go to Ingleton in Yorkshire, Keswick and haltwhistle and starting to think about the journey! Usually use sat nav but worried it’ll send me down some dicey routes with the van on! What do people use to plan routes if unfamiliar with the roads?
Also, in light of the recent weather, is there any specific cut off for wind speed and towing or do you just learn this by experience and feel?? You’d think they might cover useful stuff like in the towing training but no!!
Thanks!!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I use my Garmin satnav which can be pre-programmed on the PC using Garmin Basecamp software. I decide which route to take by using Google maps and then using my own experience modify the route if required. I will always print off the Google maps and carry a decent scale map book too. For approaching site always go by the sites own recommendations. Check the parts of the route that might be a bit narrow using Streeview, and also the approaches to the site. I know Streetview might not be totally up to date but roads, junctions and hedgerows don't change that much. Also don't follow satnav diversions where it may be predicting hold ups unless you are sure of the roads it is going to take you down. Better to accept the delay if needed be. A good co-piot is worth their weight in wine.

Regarding wind its difficult one as direction and gust speed can vary so much. But my general rule is that gusts often work out at twice the average wind speed. Anything above 20 mph average can create some difficulties in certain circumstances. I try not to be out when gales are forecast. Either delay my start or stay longer, or leave earlier. I drive more slowly, am aware of when faster HGV, buses etc are passing, ease off downhill, etc. A well loaded and well matched outfit will move around a bit more but should still be safe. As driver you will get a feel for how it feels in windy conditions and if you are not happy take an alternate more sheltered route, slow down more or pull in.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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otherclive said:
I use my Garmin satnav which can be pre-programmed on the PC using Garmin Basecamp software. I decide which route to take by using Google maps and then using my own experience modify the route if required. I will always print off the Google maps and carry a decent scale map book too. For approaching site always go by the sites own recommendations. Check the parts of the route that might be a bit narrow using Streeview, and also the approaches to the site. I know Streetview might not be totally up to date but roads, junctions and hedgerows don't change that much. Also don't follow satnav diversions where it may be predicting hold ups unless you are sure of the roads it is going to take you down. Better to accept the delay if needed be. A good co-piot is worth their weight in wine.

Regarding wind its difficult one as direction and gust speed can vary so much. But my general rule is that gusts often work out at twice the average wind speed. Anything above 20 mph average can create some difficulties in certain circumstances. I try not to be out when gales are forecast. Either delay my start or stay longer, or leave earlier. I drive more slowly, am aware of when faster HGV, buses etc are passing, ease off downhill, etc. A well loaded and well matched outfit will move around a bit more but should still be safe. As driver you will get a feel for how it feels in windy conditions and if you are not happy take an alternate more sheltered route, slow down more or pull in.

Pity we don't have' "a good post" icon.

Cheers OC :)
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Hi there , depending on what kind of sat nav you have your may well be sent down some tiny roads that your caravan may not fit but we have the caravan motorhome sat nav which is programmed not to send you down those unless they are approach roads to a site. It is worth investing in one of these. We have done abroad touring and never took a wrong turn yet ...
( that's it !! I've just cursed myself )
:p :blush:
 
Mar 8, 2017
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Craigyoung said:
Hi there , depending on what kind of sat nav you have your may well be sent down some tiny roads that your caravan may not fit but we have the caravan motorhome sat nav which is programmed not to send you down those unless they are approach roads to a site. It is worth investing in one of these. We have done abroad touring and never took a wrong turn yet ...
( that's it !! I've just cursed myself )
:p :blush:

I don’t think that there is any sat nav that is programed with road widths, rather the so called caravan versions are programed with statutory restrictions such as low bridges, weights and width restrictions only. So routes do need carefully checking, especially in areas such as the Lake District. The approach to Keswick can be along main roads which are fine but some of the other Lake District sites need care when towing.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Dodger ,
I meant compared to a normal car setting on a sat nav to having a caravan mode on will take you more main road way than small country lane way . Never mentioned my sat nav measured width off roads !!
 
May 7, 2012
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The wind speed you can safely tow in is governed by the maximum gusts but is also affected by your own experience and the combination. Personally I draw the limit at gusts of 30 mph but this is personal and based on what we have had to deal with. If in doubt make sure you know the sites on your route so you know where you can stop if you need to.
As for the route check out Google Earth if you have any doubts and always use the sites own directions for the final approach.
 
Oct 8, 2006
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For newcomers a good road atlas - the Phillips Navigator is highly recommended - is the best option. You can also use www.viamichelin.com which will work out a short route or a recommended route and has the option that you are towing a caravan. It will offer up to three different routes if it can. If you want to go via a particular route you just add extra places on your preferred route between start and finish and it will go that way.

What many people do not realise is that a satnav will define a route from where you are (A) to where you want to be (B) and do its best to keep you on that route. I am in Harrogate and used to visit St Helens occasionally. It would send me through Bradford to the M62 and then along the M62 to the M57 exit. If I wanted it to go motorway by a simpler route then I would just add a waypoint of, say, Wetherby and it would then take me by the A1(M), M1, and M62. However the route I preferred was A59 to Skipton, A56 to Colne, M65 to M6, down the M6, M58, and M57. A longer route and takes more time but a much easier drive. If I told it B was St Helens and set off on my route it would keep trying to get me back to the M62 by the nearest route until I was well past Blackburn on the M65, but even then when I got to the M6 it would still try to take me to the M62!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Woodentop said:
For newcomers a good road atlas - the Phillips Navigator is highly recommended - is the best option. You can also use www.viamichelin.com which will work out a short route or a recommended route and has the option that you are towing a caravan. It will offer up to three different routes if it can. If you want to go via a particular route you just add extra places on your preferred route between start and finish and it will go that way.

What many people do not realise is that a satnav will define a route from where you are (A) to where you want to be (B) and do its best to keep you on that route. I am in Harrogate and used to visit St Helens occasionally. It would send me through Bradford to the M62 and then along the M62 to the M57 exit. If I wanted it to go motorway by a simpler route then I would just add a waypoint of, say, Wetherby and it would then take me by the A1(M), M1, and M62. However the route I preferred was A59 to Skipton, A56 to Colne, M65 to M6, down the M6, M58, and M57. A longer route and takes more time but a much easier drive. If I told it B was St Helens and set off on my route it would keep trying to get me back to the M62 by the nearest route until I was well past Blackburn on the M65, but even then when I got to the M6 it would still try to take me to the M62!

Yes and if I programme may Garmin on the PC I have to take care that my waypoints are on the correct carriageway on motorways and dual carriage ways otherwise it will try and take me from my nothnbound route onto the southbound carriageway if the way point isn't correctly placed.
 

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